August 2, 2021

Negotiations in the Swedish Parliament to find a new prime minister

For the Swedes, there is a feeling of déjà vu. Two and a half years ago, it took more than four months for the outgoing Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, to be confirmed as head of government, after the parliamentary elections in September 2018. Back to square one, Monday 28 June : targeted by a vote of no confidence from deputies a week earlier, the leader of the Social Democrats chose to resign. The President of the Parliament, Andreas Norlén, therefore finds himself, once again, responsible for finding a replacement, without any candidate being required for the moment.

At the origin of this unprecedented political crisis: the rejection by the Left Party of a project to liberalize rents for new constructions. The formation, led since December 2020 by Nooshi Dadgostar, has never hidden that it would do everything to oppose it, until withdrawing its confidence in the government, made up of the Social Democrats and the Greens, which would then be deprived of majority in Parliament. A threat carried out on June 21.

Stefan Löfven, who has governed since January 2019, relying on the Center Party, the Liberal Party and the Left Party, then had three options: regaining a majority in Parliament, calling extraordinary elections to elect a temporary Assembly before the next legislative elections in September 2022, or resign.

” Find a solution “

The first possibility quickly led to a dead end. Because if the Left Party has indicated that it is ready to renew its confidence in Stefan Löfven, provided that the rent reform is definitively abandoned, the leader of the centrists, Annie Lööf, has ruled out supporting a government dependent on the far left formation. Without the backing of the Liberals – whose new leader Nyamko Sabuni has announced that she favors a government led by conservative Ulf Kristersson – the equation has proved impossible to solve for Stefan Löfven.

On Monday, the latter rejected the second solution, believing that elections were not “Not the best for Sweden”, in the pandemic context. There was therefore only the third option left: by resigning, Stefan Löfven placed the ball in the court of the right. Immediately Ulf Kristersson said he was “Ready to form a right-wing government”, also noting that “The distribution of mandates is the same as after the last elections”.

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